Recently I have noticed so many people prioritizing loving your body the way it is and focusing on not comparing yourself to others. This is fantastic. No one should feel inferior because of their physical appearance.
However, there is a difference in doing this and ignoring health completely. Being healthy and loving the body you have does not mean eating whatever you want, whenever you want, in whatever quantity you want, while not exercising. It means having a balanced diet, focusing on being healthy but letting yourself cheat every now and then. Life is too short to not have brownies, ice cream, french fries, mac & cheese, etc. In addition to the way you eat, exercising is extremely important. I do not mean going to the gym until you have a thigh gap or running miles on miles every day... I just mean doing something active at around three or four days a week. Getting your heart rate up is important for your health. You can run, jog, walk, speed walk, elliptical, bike, swim, lift, kickbox, do yoga, etc. In order to lead a healthy and long life, you have to get active.
What I think is important for having good body image is working out so YOU feel good. Not about how you look. It can be about how you look if you are looking to gain muscle and tone. It should NOT be about working towards being as skinny as you can be. If you are eating mainly healthy and exercising a few times a week, you are doing amazing! Do not worry if some people do the same as you and look different than you. Focus on yourself. Worry about yourself. Everyone is different.
Leading a healthy lifestyle can make you happier and will lead to a longer life. So go for a hike with your friends and see some amazing views, ride your bike tomorrow morning and see the sights, go for a jog and feel proud of yourself, feel like a badass while kickboxing, or hit the gym and post an Instagram or Snapchat story to show off! Whatever you do, do it well, with passion, and be motivated by a fit and healthy lifestyle.
Happy health hunting!